Cheat Kibbeh Balls in Yoghurt Sauce


Kibbeh is formed and cooked in many ways. The kibbeh shape for fried kibbeh or kibbeh labanieh (cooked in yoghurt) is that of an American football ball shape, but far smaller. It also comes flat or rolled in a swirl and baked in the oven (kibbeh bil saynieh). The texture of kibbeh changes depending on what the dough consists of. The traditional mix is made from bulgur (cracked wheat) and meat, or it could be rice and meat, pumpkin kibbeh seniyeh or even vegan kibbeh balls.

I have vivid memories of my belated grandmother sitting in the courtyard with a large stone pestle and mortar (JIRN). She would pound the meat to where it's like butter, then slowly add the bulger while pounding along. This was almost a day's job by the time the kibbeh made it to the table. Those days are over.

This recipe is meant for those who struggle with forming kibbeh balls or do not have time to spend in the kitchen. The beauty of this method is that it does not require a mincer but rather your hands and it is equally easy and quick to prepare. The addition of mint or fresh coriander at the end adds an aromatic flavour.

Servings: 4

Preparation Time: 45 minutes

Start to finish: 1 hour

cooking: 15 minutes


  • 1/2 recipe of express sheet pan kibbeh dough

  • 1-kilogram low-fat yoghurt

  • 1 egg

  • 200 millilitres water

  • 3 tablespoons cornflour (starch)

  • 300 grams fresh or thawed fava (broad) beans

  • Himalayan salt, to taste

  • 2 tablespoons ghee, optional

  • 1 teaspoon dried mint flakes, optional

  • Pot of salted water.


· Prepare 1/2 recipe of the express sheet pan kibbeh dough and form golf size balls as seen in the video.

· Run the yoghurt and the egg through a fine sieve.

· Dilute the corn starch with 1/4 cup cold water, mix and set aside.

· Place the yoghurt in a pot and cook on low heat, continually stirring until little bubbles appear at the surface. Do not be tempted to raise the temperature or walk away from this process as the yoghurt will split, and you will need to prepare it all over again.

· At this point, add the corn starch and mix vigorously, so it does not clump. Once it reaches the bubble again, this is an indication that the yoghurt has set.

· Add the 200ml water and bring back to the boil, adjust the salt, cover and set aside. If you feel the yoghurt is too runny, you can add a bit more corn starch and cook on low heat again. The end results differ depending on the thickness of the yoghurt you buy.

· Bring a pot of salted water to the boil and drop the kibbeh balls, they will be ready in 10 to 15 minutes. Add the fava beans and boil until cooked. Time will depend on the size and tenderness of the beans.

· Place the kibbeh and fava beans on a serving plate and top with the hot yoghurt sauce.

· Top with hot ghee and mint, but it is healthier to consume without this option.


· Never walk away whilst cooking the yogurt sauce.

· You can bake the kibbeh balls in a 180 C preheated oven for about 20 minutes turning midway.

· You can cook the kibbeh balls in the yogurt sauce directly if you prefer.

· You can add fresh coriander to the sauce instead of dried mint.

Per Serving: 513 Calories; 13g Fat (22.9% calories from fat); 35g Protein; 66g Carbohydrate; 20g Dietary Fiber; 86mg Cholesterol; 209mg Sodium.